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  #21  
Old 01-11-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Today's practice:
January 11, 2011 Olympic Swim & Health Club, 25 yd pool
Water temp 76 degrees (yikes!), clarity high
Total 2000yd

Warmup 25 yd0
250 Free - breathing focus. A literal warmup...water was 76, spent an hour teaching first

Set #1 750yd
(warmup continued) 5 x [3 x 50] of pyramind SPL
3 x 50 @ 16 SPL
3 x 50 @ 17 SPL
3 x 50 @ 18 SPL
3 x 50 @ 17 SPL
3 x 50 @ 16 SPL

Set #2 broken 500
5 x 50 + 1 x 250

Set #3 broken 500
5 x 100 as
16 SPL, 16/17 SPL, 17 SPL, 17/18 SPL, 18 SPL

Results:
16 SPL: 53, 53, 53
17 SPL: 49, 48, 49
18 SPL: 45, 45 45
17 SPL: 47, 46, 47
16 SPL: 49, 48, 46

Set #2
5 x 50 times (47, 48, 49, 50, oops, missed one!)
1 x 250 4:11
Sum of broken 500 ( 244 + 251 = 8:15

Set #3
5 x 100 (1:43, 1:40, 1:37, 1:33, 1:3x) x b/c my watch ran out of laps to store. I think it was 1:33
Sum of broken 500 = 8:09

PR for 500 is currently 8:00

Discussion:

Matrix set: I had a tough time descending each set at the same SPL. But I was also not very warmed up literally. Pool water was 76 degrees & I'd just spent an hour teaching. But I did descned with each increase in SPL and what's more important is that on the way back down the pyramind my times for 16 & 17 SPL were faster than at the start.

I have to admit that not every 25 was a perfect count. Most lenghts I added 1 to the 2nd length. I just wasn't too "tuned in" today. But nevertheless, my intention to swim say 18 SPL led to a specific way of movement, even though sometimes I had a 19th stroke...that movement was different than if I'd intended 19 strokes.

Set #2
I intended these 50s to feel like a moderate effort at around 17 SPL. Each one slowed however, but I wasn't trying to descend, just trying to hold.
For the 250, I started with an easy to moderate feel of about 17 SPL...but I'm pretty certain I climbed near the end to 18/19 SPL.

Set #3
These were intended as a descending set. First 100 at all 16 SPL, next one split at 16/17 SPL, then 17 SPL, then 17/18 SPL then 18 SPL.

Like the previous set, my intentions did not always result in an precise stroke count...but it did lead to a certain way of swimming.

I just need to get a little more rust out of my system and tune in a little bit more.

The lack of fitness from not being in the pool showed strongly here. A few weeks ago, my RPE for swimming sub 1:30 100s was of a moderately hard, but FUN effort. Today I strugged at my fasted 100 of 1:33. I tried to keep a sense of ease, but it was noticably more difficult.

I konw that as my training frequency improves, so will my fitness. It will be interesting to see this set again in a few weeks.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 01-11-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2011
Patricia Patricia is offline
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Default The swim matrix

Hi Susanne,

I like the look of that set. I will try it this Friday and post my results. In Australia of course I am swimming in a 25 metre pool rather than 25yds but I will have a go at the math to convert my times to yards. I swam 2000m this morning in my squad. I enjoy the social side of this but since doing the speed camp with Terry I would have to agree a session such as you posted would be much more beneficial than the workout ( not practice ) I did this morning.
Did notice I was the least puffed in our group after our sprints as I was aiming to use more mental energy and less muscle. I swim with blokes and they would prefer to have a cardiac arrest than to have me beat them.

Pat TI Coach
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  #23  
Old 01-12-2011
ob3517 ob3517 is offline
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ob3517
Default interval

Hi susan,
What is your rest between each event or what interval are you swimming on during each set?
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  #24  
Old 01-12-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ob3517 View Post
Hi susan,
What is your rest between each event or what interval are you swimming on during each set?
I rest until I feel I can do the task again that I've set for myself. The 50s at the beginning have about 10 seconds rest. Some of the 100s later on had up to a minute's rest (I typically zoned out and zoned back in when I was ready).

There is no magic answer. The easier the swim is, the shorter rest intervals you can take. The more challenging the set, the more rest you need to perform the set at the same skill level as before.

As fitness improves, rest times will coem down...but I don't use rest times as either prescriptive parts of my swim or as a tool to measure the success of my set. Just a marker of fitness/improvement.

If I'm doign 100s and only needing 10s rest on a set that is intended to be progressively more challenging, I have to ask myself if I'm challenging myself enough.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #25  
Old 01-12-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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haschu33
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Hi doc,

I read a few times in this thread, although it is a level beyond mine. I just don't get it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
...
3 x 50 @ 16 SPL
3 x 50 @ 17 SPL
3 x 50 @ 18 SPL
3 x 50 @ 17 SPL
3 x 50 @ 16 SPL
...
How do you swim @16, or @17, or @n ?

I can swim a lap, count, and say it was an SPL e.g. of 17. OK, interesting. But I know the SPL only afterwards.
How do you intentionally swim at a given SPL?
Furthermore, how do you swim the next lap with a higher SPL? You don't want to get less effective, do you? Do you just swim faster, hoping your SPL goes up?
How do you do that?

And, how do you measure your times (stupid question, maybe... and even this one: how do you remember them?)

Last edited by haschu33 : 01-12-2011 at 06:53 PM.
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  #26  
Old 01-12-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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Haschu
It's a skill. A learned skill through diligent stroke counting practice. Much the same way you try and lower your stroke counts you can teach your nervous system to add strokes at will; along with complete awareness of your balance and streamlining (slipperyness) and how to adjust / refine those.
It's quite encouraging when not only do you hit a consistent # of strokes per length but you do it because you planned to. Then changing the # per length at will is another level indeed. Terry has been at it for years and continues to give his nervous system the necessary attention it needs in order for him to retain his level of skill.
I'm having a measure of success with it and am sure Suzanne (and many others) is too.
I'm having fun working on getting to that next level. "To become effortless takes great work".

Alan
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  #27  
Old 01-13-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Haschu,

Alan gave a nice description. Initially when you are improving your technique the focus should be on improving your efficiency by traveling further with each stroke. as your form continues to improve you reach diminishing returns on trying to lower your stroke count.

At this point, most TI swimmers are swimming long strokes with slow turnover. At this point, increasing turnover rate while still maintaining long strokes will allow you to gradually add speed back into your swimming while still keeping form intact.

I start people by having them do some TI focused warmup swimming, trying to streamline & lengthen their stroke. Then we do a stroke count and swim a few 25s while slowing down the recovery arm so taht there is more and more glide in each stroke. Soon they will reach a point where there is so much glide they are drilling and not swimming. At this point, gradually increase the rate of teh recovery arm while keeping the stroking arm essentially the same.

With practice, you can add exactly one stroke with each 25 repetition. Gradually increase the rate of stroke recovery and watch stroke count gradually climb. YOu should be able to hit a target number of strokes while maintaining good form by adjusting the rate of recovery and possibly the timing of your arms...(ie when does the stroking arm/body rotation start as compared to the location of the recovering arm?)

In this way you are teaching your nervous system how to modulate your effort in a controlled fashion so that YOU CHOOSE how fast you want to swim, and can swim that speed with deliberate intent.

Terry uses this sort of strategy in training and planning for OW race strategy as he has described in other threads and in "outside the box".
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #28  
Old 01-13-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Doc Sue and Alan - thanks for answering. I wasn't aware that you can develop the ability of swimming at a given SPL at will. Actually Doc Sue did mention something about the level you need to be at when doing this matrix, I must have overlooked it ;-)

One remark I have to make about the famous and often quoted (poor) nervous system: it gets trained anyway - I think there is nothing we can do about it - for it or against it. To store patterns is it's job. For my understandung the point in a 'nervous system optimized training' would be to carefully and deliberately choose what you want to be stored, i.e. you avoid storing 'bad' and unwanted patterns and only store helpful ones. Which means e.g. not to continue a stroke when the stroke starts to break down because then you tell your nervous system: please store that broken down stroke, and recall it the next time when we are swimming and I happen to be distracted and unaware of how I am swimming...

Anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Haschu,

Alan gave a nice description. Initially when you are improving your technique the focus should be on improving your efficiency by traveling further with each stroke. as your form continues to improve you reach diminishing returns on trying to lower your stroke count.

At this point, most TI swimmers are swimming long strokes with slow turnover. At this point, increasing turnover rate while still maintaining long strokes will allow you to gradually add speed back into your swimming while still keeping form intact.
That's a brilliant description!
What does 'slow turnover mean' ? Does it mean slow stroke rate or a long interval between laps?
In any case that's where I am at: I swim with a SPL of 17-19 from 1.30 (or slower) and and manage sometimes to keep a 19 all the way down below 1.0, and my focus at the moment is to keep the SPL while increasing the stroke rate. I am still busy to anchor a nice and 'clean' pattern at a slow speed (hello nervous system) and don't swim at high rates very often. My stroke count in general does not really get lower at the moment.

I can get the idea of being able to swim at different stroke counts at will, it makes sense and it is logical. My expereince is not like that, though. I remember being in my community pool this summer (outdoor 50m pool) and I had laps where I felt really well and expected a good SPL, but the wall wasn't even there when I was counting 40. And I had laps where I thought: water is thick, efficiency is bad - forget this lap. And then the wall hit me at 34. And I wasn't miscounting.
Probably the walls move when you don't expect it, it's their kind of humour. It's like the concrete pillars in the parking garage: they hang out there quite innocently, and when you don't watch them they attack you. You should see the mirror of my car :-((

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
...
I start people by having them do some TI focused warmup swimming, trying to streamline & lengthen their stroke. Then we do a stroke count and swim a few 25s while slowing down the recovery arm so taht there is more and more glide in each stroke. Soon they will reach a point where there is so much glide they are drilling and not swimming. At this point, gradually increase the rate of teh recovery arm while keeping the stroking arm essentially the same.

With practice, you can add exactly one stroke with each 25 repetition. Gradually increase the rate of stroke recovery and watch stroke count gradually climb. YOu should be able to hit a target number of strokes while maintaining good form by adjusting the rate of recovery and possibly the timing of your arms...(ie when does the stroking arm/body rotation start as compared to the location of the recovering arm?)
That's interesting. You mean you control the stroke rate and the SPL by the speed of the recovery? And keep the speed of the stroking arm the same? Don't you have to speed that arm up when the rate gets faster??
And you change the timing of the arms - boy, that is upperclass TI,... I am impressed.
When my rate gets faster the whole movement circle gets faster - I think at least. I am glad I can manage that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
...
It's quite encouraging when not only do you hit a consistent # of strokes per length but you do it because you planned to. Then changing the # per length at will is another level indeed. ...
Yes, sound very exciting, thanks again!

Last edited by haschu33 : 01-13-2011 at 11:20 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01-13-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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haschu33
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An addition:

While doing the matrix, doing a singular sequence like:

3 x 50 @ 16 SPL (and descend times)

means nothing other other than trying to swim with a faster rate and maintain SPL, here of 16, right?
And you don't use the TT in that set?
And in the next set, e.g. 17, you do the same, lower rate and maintain SPL?


I found a piece of paper where I wrote down SPL's from a sequence that you (Doc Sue) recommended to me:

TT-
time / SPL
1.20 / 17
1.22 / 18
1.24 / 17
1.26 / 17
1.28 / 17
1.30 / 17
1.28 / 17
1.26 / 17
1.24 / 17
1.22 / 17
1.20 / 16
and:
1.18 / 18
1.16 / 17
1.14 / 16
1.12 / 17
1.10 / 18

Does that mean now, if I start a matrix at a rate of appr. 1.3 and a SPL of 17, do I have to fasten my recovery to something at or below 1.10 to be sure to get a higher SPL???



Ok, ok, I guess I have to try it out...
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  #30  
Old 12-24-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
An addition:

While doing the matrix, doing a singular sequence like:

3 x 50 @ 16 SPL (and descend times)

means nothing other other than trying to swim with a faster rate and maintain SPL, here of 16, right?
And you don't use the TT in that set?
And in the next set, e.g. 17, you do the same, lower rate and maintain SPL?


I found a piece of paper where I wrote down SPL's from a sequence that you (Doc Sue) recommended to me:

TT-
time / SPL
1.20 / 17
1.22 / 18
1.24 / 17
1.26 / 17
1.28 / 17
1.30 / 17
1.28 / 17
1.26 / 17
1.24 / 17
1.22 / 17
1.20 / 16
and:
1.18 / 18
1.16 / 17
1.14 / 16
1.12 / 17
1.10 / 18

Does that mean now, if I start a matrix at a rate of appr. 1.3 and a SPL of 17, do I have to fasten my recovery to something at or below 1.10 to be sure to get a higher SPL???



Ok, ok, I guess I have to try it out...
Hey Haschu, how are you progressing on this type of stuff?
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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